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Dog Whose CPR “Rescue” Went Viral Dies 10 Days Later

The boxer who gained internet fame after his taped resuscitation went viral collapsed again on Monday. This time he could not be revived by CPR....

Maria Goodavage  |  Mar 17th 2011


The boxer who gained internet fame after his taped resuscitation went viral collapsed again on Monday. This time he could not be revived by CPR.

Last week we showed the dramatic footage of Ron Pace, a well-known dog trainer, attempting CPR on a collapsed boxer, Sugar, as Sugar’s owner wailed with grief in the background. Pace had no CPR training, but did what he could when the dog collapsed during a training session. And miraculously, Sugar came to. It looked like the CPR worked. We used this as an excuse to remind readers how important it is to learn doggy CPR. Check out the post if you want some links to good resources for learning CPR.

Sadly, 10 days later, Sugar collapsed and died of the heart problem that almost killed him last week. Veterinarian Nancy Kay, author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life, told Dogster at the time that “Sugar likely has a heart condition called Boxer cardiomyopathy- the heart rhythm ‘goes south’ and is a common cause of sudden death.”

Sugar’s owner, Tiffany Kauth, is understandably very upset, but grateful for the extra 10 days she had with Sugar. She told Pace that she “treated Sugar like a king and had a lot of fun with him the last 10 days, Pace said in a story in The News Tribune. She was hoping for many more years, he said, but glad at least that she had had some warning. She was too distraught to talk to reporters from the Tribune.

Last week I sent the CPR video to blog pal Dr. Eric Barchas, Dogster’s very own veterinary blogger:. Unfortunately it was rather last minute, and his comments didn’t make it by my deadline for the post. But now that we’re writing about Sugar again, here’s what he said.

“I’m very happy that the dog recovered, but I believe that the trainer’s resuscitative efforts had almost nothing to do with the recovery. Rather, the collapse (which appears to have been caused by a type of heart condition that is common in Boxers) lead to a near-fatal (but fortunately non-fatal) episode from which the dog recovered spontaneously. Tragically, the heart condition most likely will lead to a fatal episode in the future.

“Of course, I do commend the dog trainer for his calmness and presence of mind. And I don’t expect him or anyone without specific training to understand the intricacies of performing canine CPR. However, I think it is slightly inappropriate to say that this is a video of canine CPR. Rather, it is a video of a frightening canine collapse and spontaneous recovery.”

RIP Sugar. We’re glad you got to go out in the style of a king.